A Comparison of the Differences Between the Characters of Merusault and Raymond in Albert Camus’ The Stranger
There are quite a few differences between Meursault’s and Raymond’s characters that are seen throughout chapters 4 and 5 in the Stranger. While Meursault is passive, morally indifferent, and impulsive, Raymond is confrontational, hypocritical and thoughtful. Firstly, Meursault acts passively when Marie asks him if he would marry her. His reply to her question was that if she wanted to marry him, then he would do it. He just went with the flow and agreed to marry her, he lacked an active response. Unlike Meursault, Raymond is very confrontational. He deals with situations in a hostile manner which is seen when he abused the Moorish woman. Additionally, Meursault’s reactions toward important situations make him appear morally indifferent.
When he found out that Raymond beat up the Moorish woman all he said was how, she deserved what she had received. Instead of showing signs of disgust or any expected emotion he simply agrees with Raymond and his decision to abuse his mistress. On the other hand, Raymond is quite hypocritical. He behaved cruelly towards his mistress for doing the same thing she had done to him. Instead of calling it a truce or leaving her, Raymond proceeds to abuse her. The fact that he laid his hands on her is one thing, but to punish someone for what you already have done is utter rubbish. Moreover, Meursault is impulsive with his actions. He does not plan ahead of time: his decisions are based upon his physical needs- hunger, thirst, and sexual desire.
Even though His actions may be impulsive, they are never aimed to hurt anyone. Unlike Meursault, Raymond is more thoughtful about his actions. Although his actions aren’t based upon on his best judgment he does plan upon beating the Moorish woman, As well as have Meursault write a letter to describe his feelings towards her. His actions are deliberate. Camus’ way of contrasting Meursault and Raymond is a way of showing us that Meursault; an immoral person was able to find the true meaning of life. Contrasting Meursault, Raymond did put value to his life on a daily basis, but he did not find true meaning. This contrast of characters that Camus established was to make us understand that even the most pathetic people can find true meaning, at any point of their lives.